Weird Flyersby G Harvester
At the beginning of this current pandemic, it became common for a bunch of us to believe that we were going to die a lot sooner than we had expected. Like a lot of people I know, I hold onto things, but I'm still comfortably on the manageable side of the line between collector and hoarder. I morbidly imagined people having to go through and get rid of my belongings. I made an attempt to get rid of some things because I don't need to hold on to everything! I sifted through records (lots of purging, but not enough), matchbooks (using them all instead of holding onto them), postcards (mailing them), books (no), flyers (documenting them and then hoping to donate them somewhere) and cassette tapes (a few hundred to a local collector) before I got to the "Weird / Wingnut" file in my filing cabinet. That file was not going anywhere.
DISCLAIMER: Before we go any further, I just want to say this...because Fujichia is a place I go that gives me a good feeling and I don't want to disrupt those waters for anyone else. Often, the term "wingnut" is used as a pejorative and serves to "other" people who experience mental health disorders. This is not my intention here and I don't like to engage in anything that would further isolate anyone who is marginalized. I wrote that label on the file over 20 years ago when I didn't really think about these things and I rarely, if ever, use the term now. Maybe it's time for a new label.
In our digital world, getting your thoughts on paper and putting them out in the public sphere is becoming rare. I hope that I never live in a world that completely loses that form of expression.. I collected these things because I found them interesting, intriguing and a part of the world I like to inhabit. I let each of these objects do their job. That means, if something was posted on a wall or telephone pole, I didn't take it down until it had been there for at least a week or seemed like it might deteriorate soon. Besides flyers found out in the world, the file also includes clippings and other gems from daily life that I found to be interesting.
With that said, here are a few of my favorite things from the file.
There are a few religious flyers in the pile but this one has always been my favorite because it's pure art to me. I grew up Southern Baptist and I've always thought that organized religion is a purely weird phenomenon that I've never quite understood. I asked the pastor at our church if Jesus was a superhero that walked through walls. He just laughed at me, but I really wanted to know. This flyer lived on a pole that I walked by on my way to work in the southside of Birmingham, AL. The words "Horror Forever" always jumped out at me. It's a beautiful thing. If you've ever seen a Chick tract, read the book of Genesis or have breathed a breath at all, you know that things get intense really quickly in the religious world. Let's move on.
I saw this one on a pole when I was in Asheville, NC for a short time in 2001. I showed up at 8 am and it was the usual morning crowd. I sat in a booth. Some other punk guy came in and we didn't really know each other, but I waved him over to sit with me. I asked "Are you here for the town meeting?" He kinda laughed, acted confused in a weird forced way and then said no, but still looked around nervously for our entire meal, like he was expecting something to happen. I took the flyer down after I left and I'm still convinced that he made it.
We won't spend much time here. I wrote and asked for this free newsletter directly from the Flat Earth Society when I was a kid because I wasn't raised right. Like them, I don't like the government either and it was a funny thing for me to laugh at back then. Like most things that were once funny, the internet somehow transformed it into a calling card for a certain kind of (usually racist) conspiracy theorist that has no place in my life...but when you read the fine print above, they weren't that far off to begin with. When Samuel Shenton started this society in 1956, I wonder if he would have imagined that someone would die in a homemade rocket in 2020 trying to prove that the earth is flat.
The 24 hour laundromat on Cherokee Blvd in Chattanooga, TN became my living room at some point in the early 00's. It was well known to a few friends that I kept a coffee maker, a hot plate and a record player hidden in the drop ceiling that anyone was welcome to use as long as they put it back. There was nothing special about the place. I just liked that it was open 24 hours and no one ever gave a fuck what you were doing there. None of the customers even batted an eye when 15 of us showed up in the middle of the night, cooked gravy for the pile of biscuits we brought and then danced with their kids to disco records. True freedom.
Their bulletin board was a really wild zone. I wish that I had taken more things that were posted up, but the flyers need to live their own lives too.. At the time, I somehow thought that flyers about UFO's were "too easy" so I left those. Instead, I took the "help needed" flyer above that positively drips full-on creep vibes and waves eighty red flags. The golf flyer was so rudimentary and wholesome that it made me wildly uncomfortable. I remember taking it down in the middle of the night and having the distinct feeling that whoever put it there was glaring at me from across the street. The handwritten "Gloom" flyer below also confused and creeped me out.
I have a lot of files of clippings from the newspaper, including "friends in the news", "friend's crimes that they got away with" and "assorted special interest". This collection has really gotten weeded out over time, but here's a small handful of what remains. I truly love a small town crime report. When I lived in Mississippi, the newspaper, a printed document that people paid for with money, contained a full page crime report that usually consisted of nothing but stolen packs of cigarettes. In the clipping above, I'm astonished that the reporter chose to note in the headline that the intruder ate some cheese, but not that they psychologically terrorized a 7 year old girl.
When you're setting up the headline for a fondling crime, try to pay close attention to the photo in the neighboring article.
This article caught my eye when I was a kid in Alabama in the 80's. I wondered, "How could someone just construct a building that is shaped like a swastika and get away with it?" I was shocked and saw their reasoning as a transparent lie. Over the years, there's been a lot of talk to change the offending structure, but as of this writing in late 2020, the building is still definitely shaped like a swastika.
Hey, sometimes you just find a very cordial and professional letter that is insanely morbid. I like the tone.
9/11 was a terrible time and the conspiracy theories around it are too numerous to name.I won't lie. I have been fascinated by a few of them, but, uhhh...not so much by this one. This flyer was given to me by a man in San Francisco's Union Square and I was visibly overjoyed when he handed it over. I feel like it's too dumb and wrong to keep to myself.
Classic rant-style flyer given to me at 16th and Mission. Just jump in anywhere and get upset.
Another rant flyer with computer layout skills, but the text is so small in places that you can't read it. I find myself not liking this one as much as others because I agree with a few of the points! Shrug emoji.
I'm completely against calling the cops for any reason. We don't need them. For example, I was robbed at gunpoint, shot in the face with a .22, rode my bike home, went to the hospital, got a surgery and didn't once think about calling them. What are they gonna do, unshoot me? Jail is mostly useless, but "the people" demand justice sometimes and that's where the local thief flyer comes in. I've seen many of these over the years and my favorites are when they don't mention the police at all. I found this one just a few weeks ago after it was stuck on the wall outside of my local store for a week. I don't know what to say about it except it is beautiful and contains more questions than answers. What is a voodoo hat??
I'll leave you with this newspaper that has baffled me for years. I've seen my share of all kinds of underground newspapers: from drug-induced rants to encouragement of human / dolphin copulation to communist word salad to transcendent monster news...and then there's this. I don't remember where this came from or how I got it, but it has confounded me for years now. Most authors, no matter how esoteric, can't resist a contact address or a defining clue, but I can't find one anywhere on here.
Throughout the few pages of this full size newspaper, there's no language that I can discern, no contact information and nothing that ties it to anything else. I have no idea what is going on here and I'm unsure if I ever need to know.
Thanks to Fujichia for giving me the space to share this and thanks to you for reading.
I accept and respond to all mail at: P.O. Box 40786, San Francisco, CA 94140
Uhhhhh if anyone has any answers on that newspaper at the end please let me know.
links / misc
- REMOTE OUTPOSTS is G Harvester's music-sharing blog for underground American rock music, which has among other things old Terribles releases :) [link]
- FANG Community Bail Fund: [link]
- Strawberry Band patches still available until next week I guess, see here for more info: [link] or go here to leave $7 in the donation box (and be sure to include your address) [link]
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